This pandemic year has seen 1,649 teachers take retirement – some of them leaving the profession ahead of time.
It is the highest number for seven years, says Fenprof teachers union secretary general Mário Nogueira, suggesting exhaustion is the reason for so many opting to leave even with ‘cuts’ to their pensions.
Explain reports, the numbers exceed the government’s expectations by 20% and have exacerbated teacher shortages.
Fenprof suggests the only way forwards is to start ‘recovering the thousands of teachers’ who sought other professions during the austerity years when so few State contracts were handed out.
Said Mário Nogueira: “If the profession was valued and stability was guaranteed, many (of these former teachers) would return, which would be fundamental to give time to train new professionals”.
If this doesn’t happen, he predicts “a much more serious problem” coming down the line.